A Quick Heads Up
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So we’re Texans, and if you know nothing else about Texans it should be this…. we love our Tex-Mex cuisine. Fair warning to any of you yanks (said with love) who come down here and start talking trash about it, as one of my fellow classmates learned the hard way ha ha! It would not bother me one single bit to have “Mexican food” (as it is colloquially known) for pretty much every meal all week long. Houston has no shortage of amazing restaurants around here of the Tex-Mex or even Mex-Mex variety to delight and inspire.
A couple of years ago there was a small local chain of restaurants called “Cafe Red Onion” here in Houston that served fusion Central/South American food. One of the things that almost everyone you met who had been there would comment on was how delicious their pineapple salsa was! Abraham and I have been working to replicate its delicious flavor for years, and we’re pretty sure we’ve done a really good job honoring the spirit of the Cafe Red Onion… if she were still with us today.
To put our own twist on the recipe, we have grilled the pineapple to enhance its sweetness and added complexity with grilled poblanos and jalapeños. We’ve removed all the spicy parts so the heat level isn’t too intense, but if you want to kick it up a notch leave some of it in the mix!
I’d like to point out that Abraham specifically wanted me to take a picture of him using his Misen knife. He’s been known to scan Kickstarter on occasion to see if there is anything new or interesting and he found this company. He’s a mega kitchen knife aficionado/nerd so naturally, he backed it. (I’m not allowed to use this knife by the way. It’s his knife. :)) It is a great knife though – Japanese steel, really light and well balanced, and at only $65 it is a super deal (and depending on when you check them out they are having a 20% off sale with the code FATHERSDAY). We aren’t getting paid to say this, we just think they have a really awesome product.
We also made some homemade tortilla chips to go along with our salsa, but we’re still tweaking the recipe to get it just right so we won’t be posting it until later this month. The chunky version of this salsa needs a sturdy chip though so don’t buy a thin chip, consider yourself warned.
You can also make this salsa in a smoother, restaurant style by pulsing it a couple of times in the blender. Honestly, I prefer it this way better because it I think you can taste all the flavors together, but Abraham prefers the chunky style. So we made both!
Grilled Pineapple Salsa
Yield 4 cups
Serve this with some thick and hearty fresh tortilla chips - the fresh corn flavor will compliment the sweetness of the pineapple perfectly!
- 1 whole large pineapple
- 3 large jalapeños
- 2 poblano peppers
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1/2 bunch cilantro
- 2 limes
Prep ingredients for the grill
- Prep the grill with one chimney of coals. Don't add any food until coals are white hot.
- While the coals are heating, cut the pineapple in half and add olive oil and salt to the cut side only. Cut the poblanos in half and remove the stem, seeds, and white pith. Cut the jalapenos into quarters, also removing the stem, seeds, and pith. Coat the peppers in olive oil and salt on all sides.
Grill the pineapple and peppers
- Place the pineapples with cut side up on the edges of the grates away from the coals. Place the peppers on the grates in the remaining spaces. Flip the peppers after about 5 minutes on the grill. Allow to char for another 10 minutes or so then remove to a chopping board to cool slightly. At this time flip the pineapple so the cut side faces down and center over the coals.
- Allow the pineapple to grill for another 15 minutes (keep an eye on it, if your coals are hotter it may be less). Prep the rest of the ingredients while you wait. Once the pineapple is charred remove it to a tray to cool enough to handle.
Assemble the salsa
- Small dice the jalapeños, poblanos, and red onion and add to a large mixing bowl. Chop the cilantro and juice the limes into the bowl.
- Once the pineapple is cool enough to handle, cut into quarters. Carefully remove the core with your knife. Using the flat of your knife carefully separate the flesh of the pineapple from the skin. Small dice the flesh and add to the bowl. Use a large spoon to scrape any residual flesh from the skin and add it to the bowl as well.
- Mix the salsa and salt to taste. Serve with our baked tortilla chips!
- This would also make a great topping for fish, chicken, pork, or skirt steak. Essentially it could take a rather plain protein and jazz it up a bit! I recommend serving with some spiced black beans.
- To make a smoother, less chunky version, I threw half of the salsa into our Ninja nutri-cups and pulsed it 4 times and it made a great restaurant-style salsa